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ASIMO which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility is one of the worlds most famous humanoid robots, which was created by Honda in 2000, and discontinued in 2018. ASIMO was first developed to help people. ASIMO’s height of four feet, three inches (130 centimetres) makes it the perfect size for helping around the house or assisting a person confined to a bed or a wheelchair. ASIMO’s size also allows it to look directly at an adult sitting in a chair or sitting up in bed for easy and natural communication.

History of Honda's Robots:

Honda began developing humanoid robots in the 1980s, including several prototypes that preceded ASIMO. It was the company's goal to create a walking robot. E0 was the first bipedal (two-legged) model produced as part of the Honda E series, which was an early experimental line of the self-regulating, humanoid walking robot with wireless movements created between 1986 and 1993.

Honda's E series:

E0 to E6 from the top left corner.

  • E0, developed in 1986.

  • E1, developed in 1987, was larger than the first and walked at 0.25 km/h. This model and subsequent E-series robots have 12 degrees of freedom: 3 in each groin, 1 in each knee and 2 in each ankle.

  • E2, developed in 1989, could travel at 1.2km/h, through the development of "dynamic movement".

  • E3, developed in 1991, travelled at 3km/h, the average speed of a walking human.

  • E4, developed in 1991, lengthened the knee to achieve speeds of up to 4.7km/h.

  • E5, developed in 1992, was able to walk autonomously, albeit with a very large head.

  • E6, developed in 1993, was able to autonomously balance, walk over obstacles, and even climb stairs.

This was followed by the Honda P series of robots produced from 1993 through 1997. In 1993, Honda began developing "Prototype" models ("P" series), attaching the legs to a torso with arms that could perform basic tasks. P2, the second prototype model, created in December 1996, using wireless techniques making it the first self-regulating, two-legged walking robot. P2 weighed 463 pounds with a height of six feet tall. In September 1997, P3 was introduced as the first completely independent bi-pedal humanoid walking robot, standing five feet, four inches tall and weighing 287 pounds. All the research made on the E- and P-series led to the creation of ASIMO.

Honda's P series:

P1 to P4 from the left to the right.

About ASIMO:

ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is the latest humanoid robot created by Honda in 2000 after the E and P series. ASIMO is currently displayed in the Miraikan museum in Tokyo, Japan. On 8 July 2018, Honda posted the last update of Asimo through their official page stating that it would be ceasing all development and production of Asimo robots in order to focus on more practical honour applications using the technology developed through Asimo's lifespan. The name ASIMO was also chosen in honour of Isaac Asimov, the father of Science fiction.

ASIMO stands 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) tall and weighs 54 kg (119 lb). Research conducted by Honda found that the ideal height for a mobility assistant robot was between 120 cm and the height of an average adult, which is conducive to operating doorknobs and light switches.

Source: Asimo technical information book

ASIMO is powered by a rechargeable 51.8 V lithium-ion battery with an operating time of one hour. Switching from a nickel-metal hydride in 2004 increased the amount of time ASIMO can operate before recharging. ASIMO has a three-dimensional computer processor that was created by Honda and consists of a three stacked-die, a processor, a signal converter and memory. The computer that controls ASIMO's movement is housed in the robot's waist area and can be controlled by a PC, wireless controller, or voice commands.

Abilities and Functions:

ASIMO has the ability to recognize moving objects, postures, gestures, its surrounding environment, sounds and faces, which enables it to interact with humans. The robot can detect the movements of multiple objects by using visual information captured by two cameras "eyes" in its head and also determine distance and direction. This feature allows ASIMO to follow or face a person when approached. The robot interprets voice commands and human gestures, enabling it to recognize when a handshake is offered or when a person waves or points, and then respond accordingly. ASIMO's ability to distinguish between voices and other sounds allows it to identify its companions. ASIMO is able to respond to its name and recognizes sounds associated with a falling object or collision. This allows the robot to face a person when spoken to or look towards a sound. ASIMO responds to questions by nodding or providing a verbal answer in different languages and can recognize approximately 10 different faces and address them by name.

Sensors and Features:

There are sensors that assist in autonomous navigation. The two cameras inside the head are used as a visual sensor to detect obstacles. The lower portion of the torso has a ground sensor which comprises one laser sensor and one infrared sensor. The laser sensor is used to detect ground surface. The infrared sensor with automatic shutter adjustment based on brightness is used to detect pairs of floor markings to confirm the navigable paths of the planned map. The pre-loaded map and the detection of floor markings help the robot to precisely identify its present location and continuously adjust its position. There are front and rear ultrasonic sensors to sense the obstacles. The front sensor is located at the lower portion of the torso together with the ground sensor. The rear sensor is located at the bottom of the backpack.

More technical details could be found in the official technical book, on ASIMO's Website press here

ASIMO's Sapcifications Table:

Interesting FAQs about ASIMO:

How is ASIMO controlled?

ASIMO is controlled by a laptop computer or by a portable computer controller unit through a wireless network system. This permits a more direct and flexible operation. A single operator can easily and fully control. ASIMO’s movements. Can ASIMO also be controlled by voice commands? ASIMO can comprehend and carry out tasks based on simple voice commands that have been preprogrammed into its onboard memory.

Can ASIMO recognize people and obstacles?

ASIMO utilizes IC Communications technology to recognize people within its vicinity.

ASIMO can also independently map its environment using its camera “eyes” and register stationary obstacles. ASIMO can store this data in an onboard map of its environment, then recall this data while walking in order to avoid these obstacles.

ASIMO can recognize moving pedestrians in its walking path and stop momentarily until these persons have cleared the robot’s path.

How intelligent is ASIMO?

ASIMO’s intelligence lies in the technologies with which it is equipped, not in the ability to think or reason like a human.

How many motors are used in ASIMO?

ASIMO is equipped with 34 separate servo motors.

Is ASIMO for sale, cost?

Unfortunately, ASIMO is not for sale, but according to different sources it cost from $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 buy ASIMO.

ASIMO 20th Anniversary


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